Luxury wine cellars are on the rise as a top amenity choice for homeowners.
Before the modern luxuries of temperature-control, custom-built glass walls and LED lighting, the ancient Romans and people of Greece and other parts of Europe were making and drinking wine. Archeological evidence of this worldly pastime dates back to as early as 6000 BC, when people wisely used underground catacombs and caves to protect their precious reds from light, heat and humidity fluctuations. In this environment, wines could age in ideal conditions, which are often re-created today in the form of home wine cellars. From underground spaces with naturally controlled temperatures, to entire collection showcase rooms, luxuriously designed and complete with automatic climate control capabilities, wine cellars for modern-day homebuyers are on the rise. “Today, wine cellars boast the most exquisite designs. Some come with their own dining salons and side rooms with racks for displaying wine collections,” says William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty Westport agent Cynthia Melchiorri. “Wine cellars and wine rooms are now created to blend form, design and function in a way that is both beautiful and useful.” Melchiorri’s listing in Westport, Connecticut, which is located on 2.37 acres of pristine, Tuscan-inspired grounds, features an extraordinary wine cellar and dining salon reminiscent of traditional Italian style. A Tuscan stone stairway tucked beneath the warmth of this antique home leads anticipating guests to the residence’s signature space, complete with medieval gates, wooden doors, rustic wine racks and side boards that surround the dining salon, which is central to this particular cellar. “The wine cellar and dining salon are among the most outstanding features of this estate,” says Melchiorri. “While here, residents and visitors can experience intimate dining in an authentic setting—the perfect place to enjoy a collection as it improves over time.” This timeless attribute also adds undeniable character to the Rock Hall estate, a historic home designed by noted American architect Addison Cairns Mizner in 1912. The residence is the only remaining Mizner-designed structure north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Mizner is best known for his signature Mediterranean Revival style, which is clearly evident in this Colebrook, Connecticut property. Listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places back in 2005, the estate has recently been restored, providing new life to its century-old original architecture. Its exquisite wine cellar and tasting room offer a 19th-century European feel that holds true to Mizner’s distinct design. “The wine cellar at Rock Hall is inside what was originally a silver safe,” says Rick Distel, the Washington Depot agent who has the listing. “When the home was built, this large walk-in safe was located in the basement behind a traditional bank-vault door. Former residents used to place all of their silver and jewelry here while traveling. The current owners eventually repaired this vault door, repurposing the room as a wine cellar complete with a dining space.” While these two estates follow a more authentic approach to storing, displaying and tasting wine, others shed light on a new type of storage space, where collections are showcased in spaces reaching entirely new heights of luxury. The Wall Street Journal recently discussed this emerging trend, highlighting the transition of wine cellars to wine rooms. The naturally mild temperatures of an underground environment are not as frequently used to store and cool wine, with many homeowners now lifting cellars to upper level rooms where their climate-controlled, LED-lit glass walls often double as a displayed piece of contemporary art. A modern private oasis located at 77 Bayberry Lane in Westport, Connecticut, presents the new home wine cellar advantage with its over 3,000-bottle storage space and extravagant tasting room complete with glass doors, detailed décor and a bar. 32 Lincoln Lane in Purchase, New York also embellishes the traditional wine cellar with its sleek wood paneling, and the residence’s lavish amenities provide numerous perfect spots to sip wine in great style, including an in-home movie theatre, game room and even a bowling alley. “Wine cellars, particularly those large enough to entertain guests, are a wonderfully indulgent amenity that I’m seeing with more frequency in real estate,” says Distel. “Wine has become highly collectible, and a widely popular hobby among younger generations. People increasingly want to take care of their valuable assets at home, even if they don’t hold on to a particular bottle for too long.” Whether keeping a bottle for a day or for fifty years, collectors will find an undeniable timeless quality in a glass of fine vino straight from a home’s private walls—stone, wood paneled or glass. 87 Maple Avenue in Westport, Connecticut (Web ID: RMQX46) is offered at $4,750,000 USD, 19 Rock Hall Road in Colebrook, Connecticut (Web ID: MZM5Z4) is offered at $3,195,000 USD, 77 Bayberry Lane in Westport, Connecticut (Web ID: 26DSGW) is offered at $3,999,000 USD and 32 Lincoln Lane in Purchase, New York (Web ID: S5TK9H) is offered at $11,995,000. For more information, please contact William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty agents Cynthia Melchiorri at 508.566.9495 or CMelchiorri@williampitt.com, Rick Distel at 646.417.2720 or RDistel@williampitt.com, and Todd Gibbons at 203.858.8525 or TGibbons@williampitt.com, or Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty agent Louis Katsoris at 914.319.3275 or Louis.Katsoris@juliabfee.com.